The Fijian constitution

January 12th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Michael Field at Stuff reports:

’s military dictatorship has slammed a draft constitution drawn up with New Zealand aid as an appeasement to racist divisions in the Pacific nation.

But military strongman Voreqe Bainimarama, who rules Fiji by decree, told the nation on Thursday night there will be a new constitution – and democracy restoring elections next year.

Bainimarama, who overthrew democracy in 2006, commissioned Kenyan law professor Yash Ghai to draft a new constitution, but after it was presented last month, police seized copies of it and burnt printer’s proofs.

Since leaked, the Ghai document proposes to force the military out of political life and make it permissible for soldiers to disobey an order to take part in a coup.

I think Bainimarama started this with relatively good intentions, but it is becoming clear he will never give up power. The draft constitution included everything he wanted in terms of no racial divisions, one electoral roll etc. He just didn’t like the provisions that the military must be accountable to Parliament, not vice-versa.

Bainimarama then told the nation he had asked for the draft to be amended to ensure that it was positive.

Aew draft of what will become Fiji’s fourth constitution would be be available by the end of this month.

He will then send it to a constituent assembly made up of people he will appoint to finalise it.

His draft will include the military staying on as some sort of over-lord. This is repugnant. Legitimacy comes from free and open elections, not from the end of a gun.

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5 Responses to “The Fijian constitution”

  1. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    Why are we wasting money on that stupid country?

    We should not give aid to Fiji, and let them sort out their own problems.

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  2. Michael (880 comments) says:

    If Bainimarama had wanted real, lasting change he should have quit the military and formed a new party to contest the elections. His actions have created a permanent military dictatorship in Fiji, only ever to have puppet governments having to kowtow to the whims of the military commanders of the day.

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  3. Azeraph (598 comments) says:

    Only fear will keep people interested in Fiji.

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  4. Whaleoil (766 comments) says:

    A beltway analysis of Fiji.

    “His draft will include the military staying on as some sort of over-lord. This is repugnant. Legitimacy comes from free and open elections, not from the end of a gun.”

    All derived from the deluded writings of Michael Field.

    I await posts where David calls for China to abandon the gun and allow free and fair election in Tibet and elsewhere.

    Same with any number of countries that we trade with or have open communications, including Saudia Arabia, Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan.

    There seems to be a focus on telling Fiji how it should be governed while ignoring other countries and their system of government.

    Samoa is barely democratic, Tonga is a joke but we let them carry on without finger point hypocrisy from media, government and commentators.

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  5. CharlieBrown (792 comments) says:

    I wish we had a general come in and throw out parliament and get rid of our racist system.

    The west’s belief in “democracy” is fanatical. Most people in the west thing it is ok for a democratically elected government to bring in racist policies and force out the educated and wealthy people such as what has happened in south africa. Its funny, when Pakistan had a general in charge apostacy wasn’t punishable by death… now if you abandom islam you are committing a capital crime in Pakistan.

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